I’m an idea girl, so I typically keep a list of future projects running on my phone at all times. But recently, I’ve felt like I never find enough time to take anything from the list to reality. I finally sat down to take a serious look at how I spent my time and where the time was leaking out of my days.
You may have heard the term “tyranny of the urgent.” Basically, this idea refers to the habit of reacting to situations as they arise, rather than planning ahead. Ultimately, this approach leaves little time or energy to brainstorm for projects, let alone focus any creativity toward accomplishing new things.
I’m not sure how I got stuck in the reaction mode, but it was time to become more proactive with my schedule to figure out how to get things done. So, I sat down to pinpoint what tasks I needed to accomplish every week and what projects I would like to develop over the course of the next several months.
The idea was to carve out some time each week to make steady forward movement toward accomplishing new goals, rather than getting stuck in a constant loop of must-dos. But, I knew that I didn’t want to fill every waking minute of my days. Actually, the thought of filling every moment was exhausting in itself.
So, I looked at my schedule to determine a consistent block of time when I was less likely to bend to a million distractions. For me, 2 to 4pm seemed to fit the bill. I now call these my Power Hours.
First, I assigned my weekly must-do tasks; making sure that the last day of each week included 30 minutes of prep time to prepare for the following week’s must-dos.
Then, I was left with time, luxurious time, to spend on future writing projects and to accomplish once-and-done tasks that crop up each week. This is what my weekly schedule looks like now.
You’ll notice that I scheduled nothing on the weekends. I did this to allow for leisure time, but also because I know how vulnerable my schedule is to unplanned events. I can usually find time in the weekend to make up for missed power hours.
It’s amazing what can be accomplished in an uninterrupted two-hour block. Not only that, but dedicated power hours take away that nagging feeling that I must constantly produce if I ever want to accomplish my goals. Now, if an idea pops into my head or I come across an interesting article that relates to one of my power hours, I just jot it down on a running list to address at the appropriate time. I am way less to run down rabbit trails only to discover I lost a few hours in the process.
Long before he laid down earth’s foundations, he had us in mind, had settled on us as the focus of his love, to be made whole and holy by his love. Long, long ago he decided to adopt us into his family through Jesus Christ. (What pleasure he took in planning this!) He wanted us to enter into the celebration of his lavish gift-giving by the hand of his beloved Son.
Ephesians 1: 3-6 (The Message)
Now that I’ve allotted time to get things done, I feel more peace and freedom to enjoy my remaining hours. But then, this shouldn’t surprise me because I know that God’s a planner. If He made the effort to plan, I’m thinking it’ will work out better for me too!